HEBER – Parents in Heber are outraged at the school district for letting an accused sex predator continue to work at two of the district's schools. On Monday morning, those parents protested in front of one of the schools.
Heber Elementary School District Superintendent, Jaime Silva, has repeatedly said that the custodian no longer has any contact with any children since the investigation began, but according to several parents, that doesn't matter, the accusations alone should warrant him going on administrative leave.
"We, as parents, are very worried because we leave our children at the school thinking that they are safe, but that's not the case. We now drop them off and go home worried and doubting whether they're gonna be ok, or not"
Martha was just one of parents that came out on Monday morning to protest in front of Dogwood Elementary School.
"No tear, No fears, No excuses". Read one sign. "I want to be safe in school" read another. Those were just two of the many messages that the group was trying to get across to the school district.
Heber resident, Monica Velarde says, "I, as a parent, believe that the school is failing with keeping our children safe with the situation. I have my son here because he believes that he deserves to be safe in school"
In an exclusive phone interview with KSWT, Heber Elementary School District Superintendent, Jaime Silva, says that he has received several calls from concerned parents.
"I assured that gentleman as I can assure any other parent and I give the parents of the district my word that their children are safe and that this person has no contact with children whatsoever", he says.
Several parents withheld their children from entering the school as a message to the school district that they are not comfortable leaving them there anymore.
Superintendent Silva says that the investigation is in the hands of The Imperial County Sheriff's Office.
"They've been doing the investigation for a while now and there hasn't been anything that they have been able to find to incriminate the employee. In America you're innocent until proven guilty".
Rene Gonzalez told us that he is not saying that the man accused is guilty; the parents just want the district to take better precautions.
"Worried and very disappointed at the district", he says. "It doesn't matter if they moved him to a different school, it's still a school and there are kids around. Any other place, they would have put him on leave until everything was resolved".
Isabel Kierepka says that she expected a lot more parents to show up.
"We have had meetings and a lot more people attend those. People have cried and showed their aggression towards the situation, but they are not here and this where we need them. They can't be afraid to speak out".
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